PHPINFO on the home page

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

A recent audit found the homepage of an Apache server with phpinfo() information displaying. Phpinfo() is a valuable debugging tool as it contains all EGPCS (Environment, GET, POST, Cookie, Server) data. Really useful for debugging and information gathering if you want to attack a system.

If you are not used to handling Apache, the obvious question is what to do?

The server in question for whatever reason; didn’t have a regular home page.  Probably a test environment or a “quick fix” for a problem.

The obvious solution is to get this information out of the home page.  A quick examination of the index.php file showed:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

It would be simple to disable phpinfo() or remove the entry but the resulting page would be blank and to some in the PHP world; this is the “White Page of Death” which could cause confusion and waste time.

Since there wasn’t a home page; a simple print command was used to display a message.  For this example “hello:”

<?php
print("Hello");
?>

This eliminates the problem but we can go further by disabling phpinfo(). This is accomplished by a change in the php.ini file.

; This directive allows you to disable certain functions for security reasons.
; It receives a comma-delimited list of function names. This directive is
; *NOT* affected by whether Safe Mode is turned On or Off.
; http://www.php.net/manual/en/ini.sect.safe-mode.php#ini.disable-functions
disable_functions = phpinfo

This requires restarting httpd.

phpinfo() can be restarted by simply placing a “;” in the disable_functions line and restarting httpd.

Audit answered; now back to our regularly scheduled entertainment.

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